London is one of the world’s largest, exciting and most diverse cities. According to information gathered for The London Plan, the city attracts roughly 30 million people from around the globe every year, along with approximately 26 million overnight visitors that include people living in other parts of the UK.
Clearly, London is the place to be. However, if you’ve been here before and want to try something different or just want to dodge the overcrowded tourist hots pots; you might want to know about a few alternative activities and venues you can enjoy in this thriving metropolis.
When you think of water and London, the Thames is probably the first thing that comes to mind. But that’s not the only aquatic fun you can have in the UK capital. Hyde Park’s Serpentine Lido is a great place to relax, swim and enjoy a picnic, which is ideal if you’re looking to escape the hubbub of the city. Open from May to September, the accompanying paddling pool also makes it a top spot for families.
If you want a few more options, there are also new water features for kids to enjoy at Kensington Memorial Park, stand-up paddleboarding at Wake up Docklands and outdoor swimming at Hampstead Heath Ponds.
Fancy relaxing with a drink? London is bursting with top bars and pubs. But if the weather’s right, you might want to try a few beer gardens, too. Top choices are Edinboro Castle in Camden, The Spaniards Inn in Hampstead and The Albion in Islington.
Each of these are a little ‘off the beaten track’ and not well known to many tourists, so they’re fantastic if you want to experience something new with a shorter queue!
Visit the farm
Another alternative activity to try and avoid the crowds and noise of London is a trip to Hackney City Farm. Open all year round, you can see a range of animals, and plant vegetables, as well as enjoy a mix of other activities like beekeeping workshops and pottery classes.
Tired of Oxford Street and Westfield? Why not go shopping in Stoke Newington instead. This area of northwest London has an attractive ‘village vibe’ and is packed with indie shops and bars. Try visiting the farmer’s market, which is held every Saturday, and finish off with lunch or dinner at one of the many niche cafes and restaurants (Stoke Newington has large Quaker, Jewish and Turkish communities that add to its cuisine scene).
Fresh air and open space
Want to simply get away from the traffic? Grab a few picnic supplies, pick up some garden games on the way and head to one of London’s many green spaces.
There’s Hyde Park and neighboring Kensington Gardens, as well as Hamp stead Heath, Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Take along a good book and you can enjoy a fun and relaxing day away from the hustle and bustle. Looking to visit London soon? There are plenty of great accommodation options at https://www.londonservicedapartments.co.uk/ to make sure you have a comfortable and relaxing trip.